Do Identical Twins Have the Same Fingerprints?

No. Identical twins have fingerprints that can be readily distinguished on close examination. However, the prints do have striking similarities. In fact, before the arrival of modern genetic testing, similarity of fingerprints was often used to determine whether twins were identical or fraternal. (Fraternal twins develop from separate eggs and are no more closely related than ordinary siblings, except that they spend nine months sharing an extremely small bedroom.)

The Dionne quintuplets (born in 1934) were the first quints of which all five survived birth. If you had compared all of their palm prints and fingerprints, you would have found that the broad-brush pattern of lines, whorls, loops, etc., as well as what researchers call “ridge count,” were quite similar for the whole crew. Nonetheless each child had unique prints due to differences in detail.

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